Kicking it with Jared Karkas

Although in my mind the defense is the biggest question for the Sounders FC, Jared Karkas is set to change that. An attacking left back from Azusa Pacific University, Karkas was the Sounders' 3rd round draft selection, 31st overall. I was able to catch him on a relatively light training day and ask him a few questions, to hopefully help readers and Sounder fans get to know one of their talented new young team members.

(Karkas is in white in the photo. Credit to apu.edu.)

Ness: Was getting drafted in the 3rd round a surprise? Did you expect to be drafted at all?
Jared Karkas: Being drafted was a bit of a suprise. I was told I would just go to Seattle's training camp after the draft. I did not expect to be drafted at all. It's hard for NAIA players to get drafted. I feel very honored and blessed.

Ness: What's the most noticable difference between NAIA soccer and MLS training camp thus far?
JK: I would definitely say the speed of the game. In NAIA you seem to have more time to decide what you want to do but in MLS you have to be one step ahead or you won't last long. There are many talented players out there that seem to struggle when it comes to the pace of the higher levels of soccer.

Ness: The Sounders are a little light on defense... think you have a chance to contribute to the team this year?

JK: To be honest I don't think the Sounders are light on defense at all. We have alot of talented defenders in camp right now so its just a matter of time to see who the coaching staff keeps. I know if the Sounders sign me I will contribute to the team whether its playing or not playing. I am going to work as hard as I possibly can to help prepare the team.

Ness: For those that don't know you, what would you say are your specialties, the parts of your game that stand out?
JK: I'd have to say my crosses. I had many many assists in the NAIA from serving crosses in. I would also say my pace going forward with the ball. If I get into a good enough position up the field with the ball alot of the times I created trouble and found opportunities for my team. Ifjust always have been that fortunate.

Ness: Ever been to Seattle? Can you imagine playing in front of 25,000 fans?
JK: I haven't been to Seattle since I was about 12. I think it's beautiful up there. I dont think they could have chosen a better expansion area then Seattle. When I was a kid I used to imagine playing infront of thousands of fans, but who knows... It could be a little overwhelming at first.

Ness: Finally the all-important question... are you a fan of the bright green on all the gear?

JK: (Laughs) I actually am a fan of the bright green. It's different and I like it. Teams in the league will fear the bright green eventually.

Big ups to Jared for chatting with me. I certainly hope he can contribute to the Sounders in 2009.

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